A year ago today I was very kindly proposed to by someone wishing to continue witnessing my disasters first-hand for the next 60 years or so.
I’m not without my loftier ambitions – learn to cartwheel, write a book, go into space – but I admit I am one of those girls who dreamed about meeting The Elusive One and marrying him pronto before he was next on Taylor Swift’s hit list.
Three days before my 30th birthday my man (‘ello Tony Baggins! real name Jonny) took me on a surprise mini break to Ireland. Naturally my could-there-be-an-impending-proposal alert levels went from AMBER to RED.
We’d oh-so-casually window-shopped engagement rings from early on in our relationship but the looking and the mentioning had stopped months before; in my female heart I was hoping that meant that he’d found (he wanted to choose) a ring. The Ring.
Every time he talked to me I’d just be all casual like “Yes babe?”
Arriving in the quaint seaside village, we took a wander round and Jonny pointed out a jewellery shop, saying “Hey, we should see what rings they have.”
Sounds good, right? …riiiiight?!
My heart sank. I thought – well obviously he’s not proposing on this holiday if he doesn’t even have a RING yet (I did consider it might be a double bluff but I quickly dismissed that…I didn’t think he was that clever, haha).
That night we went out for dinner and shared a bottle of wine. I’m not a big fan of wine, never really understood how you progress up to being able to taste nutmeg or lemons or damp laundry, but WINE is what you drink when you’re on a romantic mini break so WINE it was. Jonny drinking four or more glasses to my solitary one.
The next morning my beloved was a bear with a sore head. And the bear dismissed the hotel breakfast buffet (passed up free food!) to go back to bed.
I was pretty miffed so I didn’t hold back.
“We’re only here for 4 days so you can’t just sleep all morning! I wanna go ouuut!”
HAD I KNOWN HE WAS GOING TO PROPOSE JUST A FEW HOURS LATER I MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN SUCH A MEANY. But I didn’t, so I was.
After a short nap (he slept while I sulked) we headed out on an Irish adventure.
A drive through twisting country lanes, hearty pub lunch and wild walk later we found ourselves up on a jagged, mossy cliff top overlooking some sea or other (geography is not my strong point).
Despite the stunning panorama I genuinely wasn’t expecting what happened next. ESPECIALLY since Jonny had encouraged me to wear a big anorak and his waterproof trousers. NO ONE expects to be proposed to while wearing a pair of men’s waterproof trousers.
I stood staring out at the thundering waves beneath us.
As I turned back, Jonny wasn’t at eye level; it took me a second to take in what was happening. I’d genuinely forgotten I was on red alert, and was completely shocked to see him kneeling in front of me with a little velvet box open to reveal a totally gorgeous ring. I was so shocked – and here’s the clincher, people – I fell backwards into a puddle.
At the best of times I’m not that steady on my feet but when presented with a rock atop a rock….well, it’s a miracle I didn’t fall straight off the cliff edge in an Austen swoon.
So there I stood frozen in disbelief: shin-deep in a cold puddle dangerously close to a cliff edge with frizzy hair and wearing an outfit fit for a particularly storm-phobic fisherman.
Jonny pulled me out of the puddle as I lunged like a rabid magpie for the glittering amethyst in front of me.
“You haven’t said yes yet!” he protested, pulling the box out of my reach.
“Well you didn’t finish asking..!”
“That’s because you FELL in a PUDDLE!” he said as we both collapsed in fits of giggles. I told him he had to start again so I could get proposed to properly.
“Yeah, but that was so YOU!” he laughed as he propped me up with my back against a larger rock so I wouldn’t fall over again.
Here he is pointing at the scene of the crime.
So he asked again and this time, clinging to the rock behind me, I was able to accept. We both agreed that a proposal with a little splash of disaster is the best type of all.